On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

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Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

Today, a bit more from the Southwest, to be concluded tomorrow.

Today, pictures from valued commenter J R in WV.

Along with the other photo sets from 2008, this is a visit to the Hubbell Trading Post National Park. Mr Hubbell bought this trading post in 1878, just 10 years after the Navajo People were freed to return to their native land. Hubbell and his family owned several trading posts, a stage line, a warehouse/wholesale business in Winslow.

The trading post in Ganado, Arizona hosted travelers and visitors, sometimes as many as 200 people were at the post and had to be fed. In 1967 it was sold to the National Park Service, and is still operated as a traditional Navajo trading post by the non profit Western National Parks Assoc. No flash photos are allowed and the harsh desert sun is kept out for the most part, so the photos are what they are. I have also rendered people unidentifiable.

Arriving at the main building of the Hubbell Trading Post

Taken on 2008-05-30

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
f/5.6 1/8000 sec 27mm Nikon D70s

This was a huge commercial enterprise, ranching, irrigation, farming, hospitality, buying and selling native art, just a ton of activity back in the 1800s and early 1900s. There are over a quarter million financial records associated with the Hubbell family’s business preserved in the Museum for research.

The Rugs, Books and Rifles room

Taken on 2008-05-30

Main Commercial building, Hubbell Trading Post

f/3.5 1/25 sec 27mm

This is one of the still operating commercial rooms at the trading post. Some of these artifacts are just that – museum exhibits Not For Sale, like the antique rifles. But most of the Navajo art is for sale, having been bought or traded for with the weaver, potter, or jeweler. Many of the art works are inexpensive, but just as many run more like the museum-grade artwork they are.

In the Hubbell Family Home Living Room

Taken on 2008-05-30

Hubbell Trading Post, in the family residence

f/5.6 1/6 sec 27mm

This is a large central room that runs completely through the large adobe and stone house. All the furnishings were those of the Hubbell family and most are original antiques from the 1800s.

The lighting is 60 watt bulbs, the sun is blocked by drapery, no flash is allowed, to preserve the fabric and basketry art, photos and paintings preserved from the 1800s and early1900s.

The rug is a modern woven duplicate of the original rug from the 1800s. The original hangs in the Museum. This rug is walked on by visitors all day, every day, and has been since it was woven in the mid 1960s. IIRC it took multiple weavers a couple of years to complete. It is vacuum cleaned every day when the historic site closes, and shows no signs of wear. It is, or course, a classic Ganado style rug.

A Hubbell Family home bedroom

Taken on 2008-05-30

Hubbell Trading Post family residence

f/5.6 1/5 sec. 27mm

This is a typical family bedroom, with a small wood stove, a sewing machine, two beds, art, and Navajo blankets and rugs. You can see at the very top of the photo the huge logs that support the roof, which is probably packed clay, perhaps with a modern membrane over the original building’s roof built with local material.

A guest bedroom, on the other side of the living room, wouldn’t have a sewing machine and may not have a stove.

Outdoor Brick Oven

Taken on 2008-05-30

Part of the outdoor kitchen of the Trading Post, used to feed the hundreds of visitors and travelers who passed through Genado AZ each year.

f/7.1 1/250 sec. 72mm

Mostly used to bake hundreds of loaves of bread each day, original photos show it taller than this

Hubbell Trading Post barn yard

Taken on 2008-05-30

Hubbell Trading Post farming operation behind the commercial sale building.

f/9.0 1/2500 sec. 27mm

This shows some of the corrals and horse-drawn equipment used to farm for the Trading Post. There’s lots more but you can only get so much into a photo. The barns and warehouses are large commercial sized buildings where a year’s supply of hay and feed for the trading post and the town of Genado could be stored.


Thank you so much J R in WV, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

22 replies
  1. 1
    Steeplejack says:

    Well, I was half watching House Hunters and waiting up for an early morning open thread, but it was not to be. Off to bed for me.

    Nice pictures. Reminds me of the landscape outside Las Vegas. I’ll have to dig out some of my pictures and see about sending them in.

  2. 2
    Sab says:

    I always love JR in WVs photos and commentary. Thanks so much.

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    Great history. Love the giant oven!

  4. 4
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I rarely land on this thread (to my own regret) and forget how engaging and informative it really is.

    Thanks, Alain, for your efforts and these warm and friendly posts.

    Speaking of posts… that’s an intriguing trading post above! Never heard of it but would now love to see it. In Orick, CA you’ll find The Trees of Mystery, a privately owned redwood grove with walking trails, a “sky train” (gondola ride), gift store, and excellent Native American arts and crafts museum.

    Behind the motel is a walking trail to a rugged beach. Last summer I took the trail early and found myself utterly alone in a stunning, wild setting. Of course, as one does (and by because I am a hippie weirdo), I shed my clothing and splashed about in the surf, turned cartwheels on the sand, communed with seagulls.

    Twas a red letter (and white-ass) morning, one I’ll cherish forever.

  5. 5
    satby says:

    Wonderful pictures JR, and I appreciate that you always have such detailed narratives to go with them because I learn something new. You are the seanchaí of Balloon Juice!

  6. 6
    Steve in the ATL says:

    I see no TVs. What was wrong with the Hubbell family?

  7. 7
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    At The Oregon Caves (Cave Junction, OR), there is also no TV or internet… just stunning beauty, nature, interesting fellow travelers, history, ghost stories, and rustic, romantic rooms.

    Whatever is one to do?!?

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Nothing wrong with the Hubbells. It’s those late 19th century TV sets, man. They weren’t very good.//

  9. 9
    Schlemazel says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    They were hand-cranked models and the kids got tired of turning the handles so they would go outside & watch a coyote chase a roadrunner.

    we have not been to Hubble in all the times we have gone to AZ. We screwed up. Thanks for the photos

  10. 10
    raven says:

    I wish I could see the rifles better. The father of my brother-in-law was a cowboy and prison guard in Yuma and I ended up with several of his rifles including a ” Model 1885 Lowall Single Shot . This was the smaller version of the Hiwall which is usually found in the larger calibers. Historically, this was the first rifle John Browning designed and there is quite an interesting story of how Winchester acquired the manufacturing rights.” and a 50 caliber Purdey Muzzle Loader made in 1862.


  11. 11

    Thanks, J R in W V, and thanks Alain. I’ve been to the Hubbell Trading Post and remember those rooms and the artifacts. Beats the hell out of the old (and late) Jackalope tchotkes shop in Albuquerque.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    Love those rugs!

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures were beautiful

  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    Off topic: the Winter Olympics medals table on CNN’s front page tells me that Malaysia has won no medals at the current Games, continuing a medal drought that goes back to the Winter Games’ inception. This is obviously not a surprise, but I still wish we were doing better. Sigh.

  15. 15
    laura says:

    These beautiful, dusty, lonesome photos are great, and the rugs are simple and elegant. I wonder how they’d look with some Poco.

  16. 16
    kattails says:

    Sending a link to this to a neighbor (northeast) who spends her winters in Tuscan, she might enjoy a field trip. Great photos. That wood stove is a bit close to the bed and flammables for my comfort though! Thanks for this post in general, it’s always enjoyable and a nice change from politics, helps keep the blood pressure under control.

  17. 17
    J R in WV says:

    Wife asks if I mentioned an amazing fact about the Hubbell family, this trading post / national park and the Hubbell telescope, named for a very famous astronomer, Edwin Hubbell. Same family IIRC…

    Thanks all for the compliments. The new cameras do a lot, but you do still have to point them correctly.

    Tomorrow’s post, if I understand Alain, is a slightly more real trading post, reopened after its closing by a rug collector, still trading rugs from weavers and selling them to collectors, tourists, museums, etc. Amazing stuff, so glad we found it.

    Many former trading posts are still open, but quite a bit more removed from the original form these businesses had, more gift shop combined with convenience stores. Of course even on the Navajo Nation people can travel farther today than they could 100 years ago for their goods.

  18. 18
    jc says:

    Surely readers have previously mentioned that the comments section on this blog is rather awkwardly structured. When someone makes a comment that I want to agree with or dispute, the best way would be to have those responses immediately below the original comment, as is the case with many other blogs. I assume the site fixer has heard this before.

  19. 19
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @jc: are you a threaded comments troll?

  20. 20
    J R in WV says:


    Threaded comments OMG!!!! I refer you to Lawyers, Guns and Money Blog, which is as threaded as a blog can get. I prefer this format personally, you can click on the link to a previous comment if you need to refresh your memory about who said what, where.

    We look forward to agreeable comments, OR disputacious comments either one.

  21. 21
    jc says:

    @J R in WV: Sorry, (although I am fond of this blog in general) I just think this comment thread structure is awkward as hell. Someone will make an interesting point, and then 20 comments later you’ll see someone else respond to it, and then you have to go back to read the original comment. I guess you’re mileage may vary.

  22. 22
    Steeplejack says:


    From the response comment, you can click the nym of the original comment (for example, “jc” in this comment) to go back and read that. From there, you can click the back button (or press the backspace key) to come back to the reply (e.g., this comment).

    You can use this technique to go up and down long chains of comments and responses. It takes a little getting used to, but the consensus here is that it’s better than threaded comments, which tend to isolate subthreads into separate clumps and are usually not well formatted, so often it’s hard to see exactly which post a comment is replying to.

    Bonus tip: If you click on the time stamp of a comment, it will pull that comment up to the top of the browser page. That is often useful for reading threads.

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